Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Hot Multigrain Cereal with Amaranth

Hot Ancient Grain Cereal
I love hot cereal of any kind: from simple oatmeal and Cream of Wheat to the more unusual Cream of Buckwheat. Simple grains cooked gently in water are a common start to my day. But it would be a shame to stop there. The "ancient grains", those that are common around the globe and lesser known here, make some of the best hot cereal I know.

I love to teach how to make this cereal in my cooking classes. A simple process, but with a few things to know to make this work for you each time. One of the best things that happens to me is to have someone that has taken a class from me report later that they have made a new dish that they have learned and are making it regularly. A woman told me last week, "I love the smell in my kitchen when these grains are cooking". Priceless. Cooking simple food and enjoying all the aesthetics.

Winter, spring, summer, fall- it's always a good time of year for hot cereal although I surely enjoy it more in the cooler months. So next cool morning when you have about 45 minutes, get your ingredients together and make a pot of nourishing whole grain cereal.

I use a wide variety of grains to make hot cereal. And while each of these grains can be cooked individually I enjoy the synergistic effect of combining. If you want to cook them individually just know that millet and quinoa will come out nicely, soft with individual grains holding shape similar to cooked rice. Amaranth and teff, however, make more of a soft, chewy (I almost want to say gummy) mixture that is less appealing to me. So my standard cereal combines a mixture of all of these.

Whole grain teff (darkest brown-then moving clockwise), quinoa, amaranth and millet.

The basics are that grains cook in water in a 1:2 ratio with a bit of salt. Bring to a simmer, cook until the water is absorbed, and enjoy. But I have found that a few more step make for tasty and a perhaps nutritionally superior porridge.  

Begin by placing 1/4 cup of each of the grains into a medium sized pot that has a good lid. Use any combination. If you don't have one, that 's no problem. Just add a bit more of another to equal one cup. Add several cups of water to cover the grains. Swish around a bit.

Now, to soak or not to soak. I generally have not soaked grains. But recently I have been hearing more about the benefits of soaking grains before they are cooked. Grains contain two compounds described as "anti-nutrients" or components that actually inhibit the absorption of a certain vitamin or mineral. The bran or hull of nuts, seeds, beans and grains contain enzyme inhibitors, lectin and phytic acid. Phytic acid in small quantities acts as an antioxidant and in larger quantities inhibits mineral absorption, like calcium. Soaking, then discarding the water, will reduce the amount of remaining phytic acid.

Soaking also makes it easier to digest, or break food down into the pieces that the digestive system can absorb. If the "fire" of the digestive system is not burning hot enough, meaning if you eat foods and they don't digest completely, soaking can help get this process going.  The cooking time will be slightly reduced which can be helpful.

So now I often soak my grains- but not always. If I think of it the night before I'll set up some grains to soak for breakfast. But if I have forgotten and want to enjoy some lovely grains without the time and effort to soak, I go right ahead and do that.

Grains after soaking overnight. Teff, so small, floats on the top.

Swish everything around a bit and then strain, carefully. A fine strainer helps to hold back the teff and amaranth which are tiny, but there may be some lost. I strain into a bowl so I can fish out the lost grains rather than sending them down the drain.

Get all the grains back into the pot and toast... if you want to. Toasting adds a nice flavor and begins the cooking process. I toast grains most of the time, but not all. Stir frequently over medium heat. First, the water from the rinse will dry and then the grains will begin to toast and pop creating a nice smell. Continue for a few minutes.
Toasting over medium heat adds rich flavor.

Add twice as much water as grain plus 1/3 cup more. (Caution: if you have toasted the grains the water will spatter when added to the pan. Best to pour it in quickly!) So if you have 1 cup grains add 2 1/3 cup water and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Bring to a boil, stir a few times, lower the heat, stir one last time, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. It takes a few times to know how to set your stove top heat to achieve a gentle simmer. Take a quick peek so you can see, and then quickly replace the lid. You want to keep all that steam in there.

Gentle simmer separates each grain.
Pots that have a thick base allow you to cook at a low temperature with heat that covers the entire pan evenly. However, an inexpensive heat-diffuser turns a thin bottom pan into a high quality pan that will cook grains, rice, etc without scorching the bottom. Makes for easier clean-up.   

This gentle simmer is soaking into the fiber and endosperm of each grain and at the same time separating them from each other ever so slightly. Resist any urge to stir the grains while they are cooking. Stirring interferes with the fine work of the simmering water to keep each grain separate and will lead to sticky and gummy grains. After twenty minutes, lift the lid and take another peek. All the water should be absorbed. If not, replace lid and continue to simmer over low heat for another 5 minutes, or simply turn off the heat and let the covered grains slowly finish cooking. This works great if you are in no hurry for the finished product. If all the water has absorbed you should see tiny holes across the surface where the water has boiled up. A final check for doneness is achieved by inserting a spoon to the bottom of the pan to see if all the water has been absorbed. If so, you are ready to eat. And if not, just cover and give it a few more minutes.

Grains have taken up all the water.

Now, the best part...toppings. Whole grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients in a low calorie package. Adding a smattering of fat and protein balances it all out and leaves you feeling well fed and satisfied and provides the balance needed for an even blood sugar. Add any combination of chopped nuts and seeds which contain both healthy fat and protein. Yogurt and kefir also have fat and protein as well as beneficial probiotics. A tablespoon of butter adds just a touch of creaminess. And then a little sweetness: my favorite is a combination of black strap molasses and maple syrup. Maple syrup contains calcium, and 1 Tbl of black strap molasses contains 600mg of potassium, and 20% Daily Value of calcium and iron!

Fruit added at anytime is great. I'll add a chopped apple or pear during the last few minutes of cooking-just drop over the top- no need to stir.

If you cook one cup of dry grain you'll have about 3-4 cups of cooked grain. You can cut the recipe in half, or enjoy the grains over the next few days. After they have cooled place the grains in the fridge. In the morning, place a handful of nuts and seeds in the bottom of a small pan. Place the desired amount of cooked grains on top and heat over medium-low heat. This will toast the nuts and heat the cereal- this makes for a very quick breakfast.

Leftover grains makes a quick, hearty breakfast.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Amaranth- and a Flat Bread/Pizza

"never fading"   
"one that does not wither"


When I began learning about the “ancient grains” I was immediately drawn to amaranth because of its rich worldly history, nutrient density, complex flavor and texture. I hope this tiny grain that packs a lot of nutritional and cultural value will find its way into your kitchen soon. I have included a recipe below that will have you enjoying this lovely gluten free grain in no time.

Not a true cereal grain from a grass, amaranth is a broad leaf vegetable plant with edible leaves and a compact seed head that can be cooked in its whole form or ground into a nutty tasting flour.

Why not a true grain? The Whole Grains Council provides an explanation:

Amaranth isn’t a true cereal grain in the sense that oats, wheat, sorghum, and most other grains are. “True cereals” all stem from the Poaceae family of plants, while amaranth (among others) is often referred to as a pseudo-cereal, meaning it belongs to a different plant species. So why are these interlopers almost always included in the whole grain roundup? Because their overall nutrient profile is similar to that of cereals, and more importantly, pseudocereals like amaranth have been utilized in traditional diets spanning thousands of years in much the same way as the “true cereals” have been.

Our diets are so influenced by our environment and always have been. Throughout history we have learned how to enjoy what grows in our backyard, usually with great nutrition outcomes. Then cultures merge, for better and worse, we gain new foods and sometimes lose the native ones.

Native to Peru perhaps 6000-8000 years ago and a favorite in Mexico, Asia and Africa, Amaranth was considered a “super food” by the Aztecs who were great athletes. Fed to runners and warriors, amaranth was thought to provide large bursts of energy and improve athletic performance. Bushels would be presented each year to Montezuma in cultural ceremonies where it was mixed with honey and blood and pressed into forms of celebrated deities.

From www.puentemexico.org

Unfortunately, Cortez and his conquering armies understood the significance of this food and burned all the amaranth fields to the ground to gain power and perhaps ultimately lead to the demise of the Aztec people. As European crops replaced indigenous ones, amaranth fell out of use.

The leaves of the amaranth plant have provided up to 25% of the protein intake in some African societies. This “poor man’s” food which grows in nearly 50 tropical countries is often the most commonly eaten boiled greens. Because of their commonality and association with poverty some languages use the phrase not worth an amaranth. In the US farmers call it pigweed. And with this reputation, over time, an easy to grow, nutrient rich food is lost from those most in need.  

And while African countries may scorn this complex plant those in the Caribbean revere it using it to make the native dish callaloo, a gumbo like stew or spinach.
Amaranth has it’s place in the Far East. For several hundred years amaranth has been cultivated in the high elevations of India, Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan and China. Farmers in Hong Kong, for example, grow at least six types: pointed leaved, round leaved, red leaved, white leaved, green leaved, and horse’s teeth. Those in Taiwan grow a type called tiger leaf, which has green leaves with a red stripe down the center. Beautiful, like a rainbow.

Over 60 species of amaranth, ranging from yellow to red to pink, grow in a variety of climates. Check out this  beautiful seed catalog for the range of amaranth plants available to us to grow and enjoy. A friend of mine here in Kansas grew a variety that grew 7 feet tall.

Amaranth is high in protein, particularly the amino acid lysine. In fact, amaranth contains more lysine than quality-protein maize (high-lysine corn) and more methionine than soybean meal.
100g of amaranth, about 3/4 cup, contains about 14 g of protein compared to 7g in rice and 11g in wheat.  And in that same amount of amaranth you’ll get 150mg of calcium, similar to
½ cup of milk,  plus 8 mg of iron. A truly nutrient dense plant food. And gluten free.

Seen in overall perspective, amaranth offers hope to feed properly a malnourished world: those of us with too much and those with out enough. They yield protein and other nutrients efficiently. They afford abundant provitamin A (beta-carotene), a nutrient vital to the millions of malnourished children now at risk of blindness. Local food for all the people.

It is fascinating to explore the life of a particular food: from prolific status for the Aztecs, humble and therefore disregarded in Africa, a weed in the US. Yet look deeper and see the opportunity for an easy to grow, nutrient dense vegetable and grain.

In most cultures you'll find a simple flat bread using accessible flours mixed by hand with no leavening and cooked on some simple or elaborate hot surface. Here is a nice flat bread made of amaranth flour, corn meal and a pinch of salt.

In general baking, add amaranth in small amounts mixed with lighter and less dense flours such as sorghum and garbanzo. When used alone it may present as too heavy and dense. But try these simple flat breads. I have been selling them locally for a few years now. They make a great pizza as you will see below, and a versatile flat bread.

Amaranth Flat Breads

1 cup amaranth flour
1/3 cup corn meal
1/4 tsp salt
About ½ + cup water

Place amaranth flour, corn and salt in a small bowl. Mix to combine. Add water. Mix well until smooth. Add more water or flour to make sticky but manageable dough. Knead for 1 minute. You are looking for a soft dough that holds together.

Place more amaranth flour on the counter. Flour your hands. Remove a piece of dough. Roll between the palms of your hands with a good amount of pressure to form a smooth ball which leads to a more uniform circle when rolled out.  

Balls about the size of a ping pong ball
will make a 4” bread.
Balls about the size of a tennis ball
will make a 9" bread.

Place the ball of dough on the floured counter. Press into a disk. Flour a rolling pin and roll until they reach the thickness of a corn tortilla, or just use your hands to pat into a circle.

Heat a skillet rather hot. On my electric griddle I set it to it’s hottest, 400 degrees. No need for oil. Place the amaranth bread on the hot, dry skillet. Cook until top begins to bubble. Turn over and cook other side until more puffing happens. This should take about 3-4 minutes or so per side. Remove to a rack to cool. Store in zip lock bags. They don’t stick so you can stack several together. These freeze really well.  Double or triple the recipe and mix in a standing mixer.

Ways to Use your Amaranth Flat Breads

Crispy Thin Crust Pizza
This is my favorite and the favorite of many of my customers. Simply remove a frozen amaranth bread from the freezer and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Oil a large baking sheet. My favorite is coconut oil which tolerates high heat, but use whatever you have. (To melt the coconut oil place 1 Tbl per 9” crust, or 1 tsp per 4” crust on the baking sheet. Place in the oven until melted. Remove carefully.)

Lightly oil both sides of the amaranth bread by wiping both sides over the oiled pan. Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake until the bottom of the crust is lightly brown and crispy.

A Lively Flat Bread for Any Occasion

Remove amaranth flat breads from the freezer, but they don’t have to thaw completely. Heat a large skillet, preferably, but not absolutely cast iron- quite hot, medium high.
Add 1 tablespoon of oil. I use extra virgin coconut oil for its flavor and health benefits, especially at high heat. But use what you have.

Place the bread on the skillet. Let is cook for 30 seconds or so, then turn to coat the oil on both sides. Sprinkle with any dry herbs or spices that go with your meal. Here I used freshly ground black pepper, sumac, and sea salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Allow the bread to cook to your liking, soft or crispy.

We enjoyed this with some lentils and greens. So satisfying and simple once the breads are made.

Now, use your imagination. This same recipe can be made in the oven, baked at 400. And try butter with cinnamon and sugar! A little sweeter.

Next post will include a whole grain cereal recipe that uses whole amaranth. Warm and earthy.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cherry Pie with Quinoa Crumble Topping

Pie season is in high gear and I am rolling out enough Whole GrainSorghum Pie crusts to justify daydreams about this pie press.

But until then, we’ll keep on rolling...

My husband and I drove up to our daughter’s place in Chicago forThanksgiving. Of course, no Thanksgiving meal would be complete without pie - I brought a few frozen crusts with me, so making desserts for the evening meal was a real cinch.

I made the vegan pumpkin pie I shared with you a few weeks ago (find the recipe here). I whipped up the pumpkin filling back in Kansas because our daughter’s food processor isn’t quite big enough. It traveled for a day in a cooler just fine, and when I arrived, I simply blind baked the crust and then poured in the filling – quick and easy!

I also made a cherry pie, following the recipe my mom has alwaysused. It’s on the Kraft Minute Tapioca box and you can use fresh or canned tart cherries. I used canned cherries because they’re available throughout the year. Another great thing about canned cherries: the juice is so deliciously tart and great mixed with a bit ofsparkling water for a zesty spritzer.

Tart cherries are a good source of DietaryFiber and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin A and Iron.
At Ancient Grains Bakery, I experimented with making a top crust forour frozen piecrusts, but never discovered a good way to package them. Our piecrust dough is soft andmanageable when freshly made, but once it has been frozen and thawed it tends to crumble. So for pies that traditionally have a top crust, I instead make anice crumble topping, similar to a French Apple Pie topping but made with quinoaflakes from Ancient Harvest
The quinoa flakes I use from Ancient Harvest
Of all the ancient grains, quinoa is one that could most definitely beconsidered a nutrition powerhouse and has become particularly popular in the US becauseof its ease and versatility. In savory dishes, it can be treated much like couscous or rice, but with much higher nutritional content. Nowadays, you'll find quinoa in grocery stores and restaurants ranging from vegetarian to fine dining establishments.
The quinoa plant (Chenopodium quinoa). Photo from the University of Minnesota

This lovely whole grain, indigenous to SouthAmerica, was a fundamental staple for the Inca people. Quinoa is a superbsource of manganese. It is also a good source of magnesium, iron, copper andphosphorus.
Quinoa flakes are made from whole quinoa that is steamed rolled into aquick cooking flake. Although much lighter and smaller than oats, quinoa flakescan be used in similar ways in baking such as cookies, bars and toppings. Italso makes a super fast breakfast cereal.

Here, we've used the quinoa flakes in the topping for the Cherry Pie.
This cherry pie is a perfect alternative to the pumpkin and apple piestraditionally served this time of year. With its tart filling and rich, crumbly topping, this is a pie that willbe a great addition to any holiday meal.

Cherry Pie with Quinoa Crumble Topping

1 - Ancient Grains Bakery Whole Grain Sorghum Pie Crust

2- 15oz cans tart cherries, drained (reserve the juice!)
3 Tbl minute tapioca
½ cup organic cane sugar
½ cup reserved cherry juice
½ tsp almond extract

Quinoa Crumble:
1/3 cup coconut oil, palm shortening, non-dairy spread or butter
¼ cup organic cane sugar
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup quinoa flakes
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 350. Remove the frozen Whole Grain Sorghum Pie Crust from the freezer. Place crust ontop of a baking sheet to defrost. (If the contents of the pie bubble over it is a loteasier to clean the baking sheet than the bottom of your oven. Plus, the bakingsheet makes it easier to move the filled pie in and out of the oven.)

Mix cherries, tapioca, ½ cup organic cane sugar, ½ cup cherry juice,and ½ tsp almond extract together and allow the mixture to set for 15 minutes.

Stir the cherry mixture again just before pouring into the prepared crust.Bake for 30 minutes.
While pie is baking, place the coconut oil, ¼ cup sugar, 1/3 sorghumflour, 1/3 quinoa flakes, ½ tsp cinnamon, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl. Use a forkor your hands to crumble everything together.

After the pie with the filling has baked for 30 minutes, carefullyremove it from the oven. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the pie andplace it back in the oven. Continue baking for at least 30 minutes or until thejuices from the cherries bubble up from the top and hopefully a bit over thesides. I love this perfectly baked look for a pie.

*Special note:
I use organic extra virgin coconut oil because I love the flavor, baked texture and the simplicity of it, but it does cost more than the other choices. I buy a lovely, fine-milled white sorghum flour from AgvantageNaturals in New Cambria, Kansas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Pumpkin Pie (and Grain!) for Everybody

This gluten-free, egg-free, and dairy-free pumpkin pie is also FULL of flavor and perfect for Thanksgiving!
As a nutrition educator and cook, I love the challenge of creating new recipes for favorite foods so that they’re free of many common allergens. Years of mixing and matching this and that have led to many tasty flat breads, cookies, biscotti and now pie crust.  

The holidays are often accompanied with many foods that contain gluten, eggs, and milk.  Today I want to share with you a quick and simple recipe for a pumpkin pie that's free of all three, using pre-made Ancient Grains Whole Grain Sorghum Pie Crusts.  It tastes just like the creamy, rich pumpkin pie that we all love, but with ingredients that will leave you feeling energized instead of heavy and tired.

Read below to learn about sorghum, one of the main ingredients in my pie crust, and to get that delicious pie recipe.

Ancient Grains Bakery Whole Grain Sorghum Pie Crust
Our pie crust is made with whole grain sorghum flour and flax seeds and sold in the frozen section of these stores.

Never heard of sorghum? You're not alone. Here are some facts that may spur your interest in this lovely, gluten-free grain. 

Sorghum is considered to be the fifth most important crop in the world- which means that it is the most commonly eaten food after rice, corn, wheat and potatoes.  It is also the dietary staple of more than 500 million people in 30 countries and has untapped potential for people everywhere, including here in the US.  According to The Lost Crops of Africa, “If the twentieth century has been the century of wheat, rice, and maize, the twenty-first could become the century of sorghum.”  

Image from here.
Sorghum offers many benefits:

  • a gluten-free grain
  • grows in both temperate and tropical zones, and thrives in both drought and heavy rains.
  • an incredibly versatile food: different types can be boiled like rice, cracked like oats for porridge, "malted" like barley for beer, baked like wheat into flatbreads, popped like popcorn for snack, or even made into syrup.
  • flexible growing methods: most sorghum is produced under rain-fed conditions, while some is irrigated and a little is grown by transplanting seedlings as is done with rice. Like sugarcane, it can also be ratooned (cut down and allowed to resprout from the roots) to provide crop after crop without replanting. It is ideal for subsistence farmers on the one hand and can be completely mechanized and produced on a vast commercial scale on the other.

Here in the state of Kansas, sorghum holds a small but significant role (don’t worry…we’re getting to the pie part in a minute). The Sunflower State is the country’s leading producer of sorghum, also known as milo. As a heat and drought tolerant crop, sorghum is ideal for the open plains of Kansas and Texas. The U.S. trails only Nigeria in world sorghum production, but holds the top spot in exports. (For more information about sorghum production in Kansas please visit this link.)

While the huge majority of this sorghum is still grown for animal feed, a growing gluten-free market is offering farmers a view of a possible increase in demand for the mild-flavored grain.

And now, back to that pie.

Hilary's Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Start with an Ancient Grains Whole Grain Sorghum Pie Crust. Remove it from the freezer to thaw just a bit while the oven preheats to 375. Prick a few holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork- this prevents it from bubbling up during the blind baking. Place it on a baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly brown and puffed up a bit. Remove to cool on a rack.

Ingredients featuring Central Soyfoods Tofu
Now, whip up this filling that highlights Kansas’ own Central Soyfoods tofu- a leading producer of organic tofu for over 35 years.


1-14oz block Central Soyfoods Organic Tofu or any organic tofu
1-15oz can pumpkin
1/3 cup organic canola oil
½ cup organic cane sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbl black strap molasses
¾ tsp ginger and cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom and cloves
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp vanilla

Reduce heat to 350.

Place tofu in the bowl of a food processor. Blend for 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. This must be very smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly, stopping to scrape down the sides. 

Pour into baked pie shell. Smooth with a spatula. Bake for 10 minutes (tofu is cooked! and no eggs!) - this just helps it to set up nicely. Cool and then refrigerate.

*Note: If using a traditional pumpkin recipe with eggs and milk, don’t blind bake the Ancient Grains pie crust. Just fill and bake following the filling instructions.

When I am sampling my foods at local grocery stores, I give my message over and over again: “… And this has no wheat, no gluten, no dairy, and no eggs.” Someone will inevitably say, “Well, what is in it?” 


I am enjoying this opportunity to share ideas for cooking with whole gluten free grains, minimally processed, with no eggs and dairy, and creating tasty healthy foods.  Let me know if you try out this recipe and tell me how it goes.

Thanks for joining me and eat well this Thanksgiving!

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Welcome and Introduction

Hi, I'm Hilary Kass, the owner of Ancient Grains Bakery.  Thanks for checking out this blog - we will be sharing information, tips, and recipes about the ancient grains that we also feature in our products.

We hope this blog can become a resource to learn about less commonly used grains and seeds that can be eaten as healthy and interesting alternative.

My History with Food and Ancient Grains

When I was a kid growing up in 1970’s California, my two favorite activities were watching “The Galloping Gourmet” and making cookies. I was lucky to have parents that were happy to give me free reign of the kitchen, where I could often be found creating yummy dinners for a busy working family.

Growing up in a hotbed of new and alternative ideas, I was always dipping out for blocks of fresh tofu from a five gallon bucket at the health food store and enjoying salty, mineral rich nutritional yeast.  On the other hand, I also just as routinely ate frozen dinners with my family …on a TV tray…in front of the TV. A nice balance, I guess.

So while I was learning to make wonderful traditional foods like oatmeal cookies, chocolate cake with buttercream frosting, meatloaf and scalloped potatoes I also learned about chile rellenos, Indonesian Bami, and Szechwan eggplant.

And so I have been enjoying a lifetime of cooking. Everyone’s got their “thing” and food is mine. I studied health promotion and disease prevention as an undergraduate and later on in graduate school. I started teaching cooking classes at a local hospital wellness center, then at the Community Mercantile Co-op in Lawrence, KS.  With a whole foods approach, I helped people increase the amount of unprocessed whole grains, unrefined sweeteners, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans.

I have also worked as a nutrition consultant, providing direction to people interested in making improvements to their diet. Several years ago I began seeing more people that were experiencing health problems that couldn’t be explained. For a long time, holistic health practitioners were identifying food allergies in many of their patients, but mainstream doctors were slow to come to this table. Nowadays, fortunately, there are simple blood tests to determine if some foods just don’t work well for people.

Three of the most common foods that many people are sensitive to are wheat (which contains gluten), dairy, and eggs. I would provide store tours showing the products that are available that were free of these ingredients. Many of these fine products are made with white rice flour and tapioca starch to mimic the qualities of our beloved all-purpose flour. But where were sorghum, millet, quinoa, amaranth, tef and buckwheat- the rich, heavier grains full of flavor and nutrition? There were bags available on the shelves but few readymade products were made from these nutrient-rich “ancient grains.”

This provided the idea behind Ancient Grains Bakery.  I began to experiment, first with cookie dough made with sorghum flour, then flatbreads made with millet and amaranth, and then biscotti made with tef.  Most recently, a piecrust made with sorghum and brown rice flour. I now have these products available through my bakery, Ancient Grains, in Lawrence, KS with a growing distribution.

It is my mission to prepare convenient, nutritious, interesting foods using the highest quality ingredients and to educate regarding the benefits of eating a variety of these whole grains.  My belief is that these grains do not simply provide a “replacement” for wheat products, but more complex and interesting ingredients in their own right.  And in an environment where wheat has been genetically modified or stripped of its nutrition, these grains offer a diverse and nutrient-dense alternative.

 So whether you are sensitive to wheat or gluten or are just looking to expand your culinary and nutritional experiences, try some ancient grains today.